Meridian got a new place to indulge in gastropub fare and local craft brews when Barrel 55 opened a few weeks ago in the former On the Border spot at 3004 N. Eagle Road.
As the sister restaurant to the Barrelhouse Pub & Grill at 5181 N. Glenwood St. in Garden City, Barrel 55 strives to take its cuisine in the suburbs to a hyper-local level.
“We wanted to bring a local concept to corporate row,” says owner Cliff Rogers, who took over the Barrelhouse from Crooked Fence Brewing Co. late last year.
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Executive chef Gavin Haley directs the menus at both restaurants, yet he uses more locally produced food on his seasonal menus in Meridian.
“The menu is an upscale version of the Barrelhouse. We ran specials over there, and the most popular of those items ended up on the Barrel 55 menu,” Rogers says.
While the menu touches most of the pub-fare bases, it’s not without nuance. Starters include maple-bacon peanuts ($4), hard cider habanero clams ($13) and bison finger steaks ($13).
Besides upscale burgers, sandwiches and big salads, you can dig into larger plates that pair well with the vast draught beer and wine selection. The entrée portion of the menu includes smoked prime rib ($24/12 ounces and $30/16 ounces), cedar-plank salmon ($19) and maple and coffee-braised bison short ribs with roasted heirloom carrots and celeriac puree ($28).
Barrel 55 maintains 32 rotating taps of handcrafted beers and hard ciders, with a special emphasis given to Treasure Valley breweries. No worries for non-beer drinkers, though. The thoughtful wine list boasts plenty of local labels to keep oenophiles interested.
Barrel 55 is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
In related news, the Barrelhouse Pub & Grill is in the process of building a festive beer garden in front of its Garden City restaurant. The 1,000-square-foot patio area will have trellises and a fire pit. Rogers expects it open the first week of August.
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